Before the 1940s, staple breakfast food were hotdogs, bacon, and eggs. There wasn’t too much variety when it comes to breakfast food back then. It was in 1941 when General Mills introduced Cherrioats, the world’s first oat-based cold cereal in the market. By adding milk to the cereal, it was ready to eat which makes the product a perfect breakfast treat most especially for people who are on the go. Cherrioats was not only a breakthrough product but also an instant hit with consumers.
Success Never Comes Easy
General Mills manufactured and shipped more than 2 million cases of Cherrioats all throughout America on its first year alone. However, the road to success was never easy for the company and the product was nearly never born if not for the perseverance of its inventor, Lester Borchardt. Before Cherrioats, General Mills was struggling to have a competitive product in the market. Time was not on their side and the company advised its employee, Borchardt, to abandon his potential product because of problems with the machinery and instead come up with some other product which they can sell right away. Borchardt didn’t listen to his boss and instead focused on having the machinery fixed.
The company was already a couple of months behind when it launched Cherrioats. Competing products had already established themselves. Cherrioats was marketed with the tagline “The Breakfast Food You’ve Always Wanted” and this marketing strategy paid dividends as they easily found their target market: children and teens. Additional marketing schemes by running ads in children TV shows further boosted Cherrioats popularity among the target audience and easily became the most popular cereal in the US. 5 years after it was launched, General Mills changed the product’s name to Cheerios which is still its name up to the present day.